This book is a selection of some of the easier tactical problems from my book “Progressive Tactics: 1002 Progressively Challenging Chess Tactics”. As the “Don’t Play Like Me” title implies, the selected tactics are all positions where I fell victim to one of my opponent’s tactics, so they are all from real over-the-board games and are of the type that you can expect to see in your own games.
The purpose of this book is simple – it is intended to raise your rating (or just greatly improve your game if you’re not a rated player). Rather than go into a lengthy explanation of why practicing tactics is so critical to improvement, I’ll just tell you about my own experience.
I started playing tournament chess in the 1980’s and spent about 20 years rated in the 1500-1650 range while I studied opening books, endgame books, and strategy books to no avail (you can see my rating graph here: http://main.uschess.org/datapage/ratings_graph.php?memid=12413721). Over the years I had read occasional comments about the importance of focusing on tactics above all else, but it never really sunk in. Sometime in 2007, I read a column by the outstanding instructor Dan Heisman about the importance of tactics, that was so well written and persuasive, that it finally sunk in that I needed to try focusing on tactics. Well, suffice it to say that it worked. I started working on tactics in the excellent book “Sharpen Your Tactics” by Anatoly Lein (almost) every day and my rating rose to a peak of 1845. Then sometime in 2009 I gradually got away from working on tactics for various reasons and my rating plummeted back to 1600. In 2012 I started studying tactics once more and peaked at 1858 at which point I started working on this book and stopped doing my daily tactics practice and… my rating plummeted again. Since finishing the book, I’ve gotten back to daily tactics practice and my rating has again started climbing.
So why THIS tactics book as opposed to others. First of all, it contains tactics from real amateur games – the kinds of tactics you’re likely to see in your own games! Second, it has large board diagrams that you can touch to see the answer and explanation with an arrow showing the solution move already made which one reviewer called ” a great help for beginners with a low visualization capability”. There’s no flipping back and forth like you have to do in other tactics books!
I think you’ll find this book to actually be fun!
So buy this book, enjoy it, and watch your rating rise!